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Friday, August 24, 2012

Breaking News: Teacher Invited to Education Conference

New York City - Setting aside a long-held tradition, the New York Times has invited an actual public school teacher to participate in their upcoming "Schools of Tomorrow" conference.

Elaine Doctris, who teaches fifth graders at PS 800 in Queens, is the chosen one. "I'm honored and a little confused," she confessed.  "I mean they've never asked a public school teacher to speak before. I hope it isn't a mistake."

According to Kirstie Hepburn, one of the event's organizers, picking Ms. Doctris was no mistake. "We used New York City's Teacher Data Release to obtain the names of public school teachers. Then we dumped all the names into a giant hat and picked one. You know, kind of like 'The Hunger Games.'"

Teachers are infamous for slowing up corporate-driven discussion panels by providing facts, suggesting methods be tested before implementation and by sharing real life experiences. So why did the Times have a change of heart and include an educator? Ms. Hepburn admitted, "Teachers are really good at whining and frankly we just got tired of them complaining on their blogs about not being included at this event."

While incessant whining may have finally resulted in a begrudging invitation, it is still unclear if Ms. Doctris will attend.  "I really want to go but it's on a Thursday, during the day, at the beginning of the school year.  I'm not sure it's fair to my students," she explained. May the odds be always in your favor, Elaine.

In related news, the New York Times is also reportedly toying with the idea of inviting practicing physicians to its annual "Future of Medicine" conference. Scheduled speakers to this event currently include: GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty, Pfizer Chairman of the Board and CEO Ian Read and celebrity/oxycontin user Rush Limbaugh.

Reality Alert: Interested in how we came to write this? Read The Jose Vilson blog and see Schools of Tomorrow speakers list.


  1. This was good. Thanks for the laughs.

    1. I sent an email on Sept 21 complaining about the fact that very few teachers are actually speaking or can attend as it is a school day.

      Here is their response!
      Please note that all New York Times conferences are always held on weekdays. The date was chosen in priority of the even.t We do have a number of teachers who are able to attend as part of their professional development, as well as all non-teachers in attendance will be out of their offices for the day as well. We will have about 100 teachers in attendance.

  2. I'm a teacher working under Gunslinger Superintendent Paul Vallas in Bridgeport. So I definitely have concerns about reform. I was at the September conference. I raised a sticky point about conflicts of interest (managed to get the mic). The rest of the conference, I had the impression that I had security guys looking at me whenever I raised my hand.

    With good reason, I suppose. During the "Gamechangers / Technology" segment, it took a lot of self control to not stand up and point out what a nightmare they were describing. Literally like the 1999 movie "The Matrix."

  3. May God help you and your colleagues Standalone. After suffering through Mr. Vallas and then Queen Arlene (Ackerman) here in Philadelphia, I feel your pain. It is amazing how the reformers are hesitant or just flat out ignore those of us who do the job everyday and have done so for many years. What can we do? What impact can we really make?